I have been trying to post a set of drawings that I have documented, but, alas this fancy new blogger will not let me. I will go to flickr and try from there.
Most others have flow south long ago, but not this bird who has only just arrived at the new blogger, feathers intact. Looking forward to tinkering with this blog, especially to using categories to file my posts. Oh it feels like a shiny, new toy...
I'm glad to say that I am finally able to blog again. It was a tough decision how to upgrade my equipment, whether to get a new mac, or to switch to a PC. I have resisted switching to a PC for so many years. I love Mac's I cut my software teeth on a mac. I greive my mac. Yes, I am now working on a PC. It was less painful financially, and I sure hope the virus software can keep those destructive programs at bay. I have never had to worry about that before. Well, we'll see how long this lasts. Signing off, for now, on a PC
I searched for my own blog on the Blogger Beta search engine and each time it turn out no results. I used Art 4 Life, and some form of crayzee artest, plus my name, Kim Stewart, with no results pertaining to me. If you do a search on Kim Stewart amongst the blogs, don't be alarmed by the amount of hate blog you see. It is not about me. I definitely did not have a breast augmentation.
People who enter the gallery for the first time since I have begun my changes have the same comment. I like the way things are laid out, I can see everything from here. they are talking about the position of the desk and till. I thought long and hard about where to place it, and yes, you can see everything from there. I sometimes wonder if we give as much thought to the placement of ourselves at home. Am I placing myself in the position where I can see everything? There is a sense of safety that comes from knowing you can see danger coming. I guess that is why I loved living on the prairies as a kid. I would stand out in the field and turn, looking in all directions, shading my eyes from the sun until I was satisfied that I was safe. Its a bit different living here. You might not see things until they are upon you. Part of me longs to stand in that field again, to hear the wind, watch the grasses bend and wave and feel safe.
I had this idea that I would post some of my art. The posting of the pathetic "glasses" illustration was an attempt to test out the process. Unfortunately, I still have technical problems that need not exist. What am I talking about? Well, I took pictures of some of my work, but for a while now, my digital camera software has refused to talk to the camera. I made a half-hearted effort to fix the problem, then abandoned the entire thing. I am now relying on Kevin to download my photos onto his laptop and pass them to me on the memory stick which is a very slow process. Sigh. I really hate trouble shooting THAT much.
I was sore and exhausted, but satisfied when I arrived home Sunday night. I spent the weekend in Kelowna at a Karate seminar. It was a thorough workout with lots of new things to practice. I have been training in some form of martial art since 1989 when Kevin and I were mugged in New Westminster. It scared me enough to consider taking a beginners course in Shotokan Karate. I have found martial arts training to be the most complete physical and mental workout I have ever had. The style I am currently learning is Chito-Ryu. When I think ahead, I can't imagine a time when I won't be training. It becomes a lifestyle choice more than anything. At 41, I have excellent flexibility, good cardiovascular and fabulous blood pressure, why would I quit? Well, as a person learns more, it takes more discipline and more time to maintain what you know. Martial art is a jealous master for whom you cannot work part-time. At my level, (and my age), I should be training 2 hours, 3 times a week with an hour of practice on alternate days, not to mention daily stretching to maintain flexibility. I should be attending several weekend-long seminars, and learning the Japanese terms and history for my style. There are times when I am not able to train due to work or illness and it sure hurts (physically) when I return. I don't want to do that too many times! There seems to be a compromise to every good thing, and being physically and mentally fit is no exception. Still, I enjoy what I do.
I made a presentation to a multitude of 5 last Thursday. The talk was on current and historical work in Digital Art. We had a short discussion on whether or not these works can be considered art, and what separates art from someone simply using the technology...for example someone who uses Photoshop to manipulate a photo is not necessarily creating art. Although I was disappointed at the turnout for the lecture, those present were keenly interested and appreciative. We really enjoyed having the use of the best-equipt lecture theatre I have ever been in. It is one of two new theatres at the University of Northern British Columbia and is primarily used for northern medical students who join students and lectures taking place in other cities via electronic means. There are three display screens, each capable of projecting either a powerpoint presentation, a lecturer in another city, or other classes of students who have joined the lecture from other cities. As a student asks a question, there are microphones, and a camera which capture the students image and voice and project it to all other lecture theatres who are participating. Each lecturn has access to the internet, slide projector, VHS, and document reader enabling the instructor to use all manner of teaching materials. It really seemed like a fitting place to discuss the use of technology in art, and I really enjoyed playing with all the equipment! Thanks to my friend Tara for booking the space!
I am posting the last of the marks for the FINE 107 class at CNC this week, and as the dust settles in the mac lab, I am left to ponder who learned more this semester, the students or me. I must send a thank you to the students who helped shape me, mold me and humble me into a better instructor. As for the summer, my hope is to spend it creating so that I will actually have something to show in the 3 venues I have committed to this fall. It feels great to work towards a deadline!
Kevin and I went out for a fine dining experience on Saturday. His supervisor at UNBC is moving to greener pastures and a group of about 28-30 people gathered at one of the finest restaurants in town. The food was fabulous as was the service. I received some extra goodies that had everyone at our end of the table looking at me with envy. The parsley on my appetizer, grilled polenta, had a small, white, inch worm who was actively practicing his pilates. Well, the vegan sitting next to me was stunned into silence, and the carnivores at the end of the table were roaring with laughter. Our server, however was not amused and began an apology that lasted all evening long. While I waited for my replacement, the vegan next to me tore his salad into pieces, looking for any signs of the worm's cousins. Satisfied that they were not in his meal, he sighed in relief and timidly began eating his veggies. The carnivores were enviously looking at Kevin who's drinks were now on-the-house just because he came with me. "We want a worm too." They chanted. However, they dealt with a crisis of their own when the steaks they ordered were served well-done instead of blue-rare. Their replacement meal came and the steaks were double the size of the first set. As we were leaving, each woman in our group was given a long stemmed rose, I, however, received two long stemmed roses. It was truly a night to remember.
• dust and dirt everywhere, including my entry, down my stairs, and inside each pair of shoes
• rain, rain, rain
• excess dog hair clinging for dear life to all black clothing
• honking of the geese as they move northward
• kids with soaking wet clothing, every pair of shoes and boots are wet right through
• the reappearance of gardening books and magazines on every end table
• and the joyful way I feel inside as I think about the sun's warmth, the return of plant life and the buzzing of insects!
I have been thinking about what defines a person as a good learner. I thought if a person had the right tools or reference, a good setting, aptitude, and an interest in the topic that the rest would fall into place. But since I have been teaching, I have realized that it is more than that. Attitude can really decide whether you learn anything at all. No learning situation is ever perfect whether it be in a classroom or through life experience. A bad attitude can be the biggest barrier to learning, whether or not we have the best tools, instructors, or resources. The most wise among us have learned what they have through an attitude of humility and willingness to consider anything that comes their way, even if it is outside of their comfort zone. In my opinion, this is the key to mental, physical and spiritual growth. If a person is to ever reach there full potential they must master humility, the most difficult virtue of all.